Friday, April 29, 2016

Revising my Box Office Predictions for 2016

Back in February, before the release of Deadpool -- the first of 7 comic book movies -- I gave my full list of box office predictions. I thought Deadpool would be a hit, but it was even bigger than I predicted. And now Batman v Superman is a full month into it's run, so I wanted to give an update.

Seeing Batman v Superman's performance thus far, I now think that I had BvS and Civil War precisely backwards. And in hindsight, I should have tempered my expectations for BvS because of the fact that Snyder and Terrio's style is more literary and not-your-typical-blockbuster-structure and so it's not going to roll in the money like Jurassic World or Transformers. Civil War, on the other hand, looks like it will perform very much like an Avengers movie without the slight fatigue that I predicted back in February. So now I think Civil War will be the one around $1.25 Billion, and BvS will be the one around $900 Million. (Hindsight 20-20.)

BvS is at about $855 Million worldwide right now, which is really solid given that it's not especially family friendly (themes are fairly adult) and it's more of a philosophical drama than a popcorn action flick. I think it's going to have at least 4 more weeks of box office returns, and I think conservative worldwide estimates for those weeks are $13M, $7M, $4.5M, and $2.5M. So that would be, conservatively, another $27 Million for a grand total of around $880 Million. Because of tax write-offs, licensing, and eventual home media sales, Forbes estimated $500 Million worldwide as the break-even point and $800 Million as the happy place. It looks like they will be a healthy number above that $800 Million, but the psychological number of $1 Billion isn't in the cards. I, for one, am glad that they allowed the creative vision to go forward rather than imposing a more crowd-pleasing approach to try to surpass $1 Billion.

I also think the BvS move from May to March was very smart, business-wise. It's legs weren't great even with a month to itself, so it would have suffered and not had the 4th biggest opening of all time if it had been competing with the early summer May blockbusters.


  1. Sam,

    Do you think that with all the level of hate (as unfair as it is) given BvS, that Justice League will also be unfairly judged.

    1. I think fans and critics will approach Justice League with a bit less bias than they did BvS. The build-up to BvS was so long (almost 3 years), I think people had time to form their own narrative in their head (e.g., it's too serious, why did they show Doomsday? Lex is goofy, they're not as good as Marvel) and they brought those prejudices in when they saw the movie. But for Justice League, there will only be a matter of months after Wonder Woman, plus there will have been Suicide Squad. So I think there will be a little bit more of a chance to carve out a fresh narrative and for people to come in a bit more open to what the movie will be.

      That being said, it will still be Zack Snyder, so there will still definitely be a backlash because many critics do not like his style and don't "get" his movies, and they might be out to prove a point because their negative reviews didn't scuttle BvS. (Though I think the negative reviews, which were off base in my opinion, did cost the movie at least $200 Million at the box office.)

  2. I hope you are right. While I love the movie and can understand others not liking it, I just don't get the level of hatred. People act like Snyder murdered their dog. It is just blind hate for no reason.